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Drive with a clear head this Christmas or risk ruining life in the New Year

21st December 2017

And so Christmas is here – the time of year when happiness abounds. It is the season for fun and festivities, family gatherings, time spent with old friends and new, reunion with loved ones, presents, laughter, all-round Christmas cheer.

But it is also prime season for alcohol-related road accidents. The current maximum sentence for drink or drug-driving is 14 years, and soon even a short drive ‘under the influence’ could lead to a long life behind bars – under new government proposals motorists who cause death by careless driving whilst under the influence of intoxicating substances will face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

In Sussex alone, 187 drink-drive arrests were made last December and 143 of these led to convictions. Driving under the influence is one of the four commonest causes of serious injury and fatal collisions – along with speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and using a mobile phone whilst driving.

By now, the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s annual operation to stop people driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is well under way. The national campaign is aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of driving whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol and reducing the number of road deaths and serious injuries across the country.

Unfortunately I have experienced first-hand the impact it has on a family when a loved one is killed by a drunk driver and, as an experienced personal injury lawyer who represents accident victims, my work also brings me face-to-face with the devastating effects that life-changing injury brings to families and friends. Not only does it change victims’ lives and sentence convicted drink-drivers to life in a prison cell, but it can also severely affect the emergency services personnel upon whom we rely to pick up the pieces at the roadside. Could you live with knowledge that your actions had killed someone or caused life-changing injuries?

So this Christmas please think carefully before picking up your car keys, even on the morning after the night before. Plan your journeys in advance and consider leaving the car at home.

Don’t drink and drive, and not just at Christmas – not ever. When it comes to deciding how much alcohol a driver should drink, the best answer is: none.

If you have been affected by a road traffic accident that was not your fault or would like legal advice on a personal injury matter, call the George Ide team on 01243 786668 or email us in confidence at info@georgeide.co.uk.

Emma Dryden. Solicitor, personal injury department.

General, George Ide, News, Personal Injury Blog
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